The Russian Defense Ministry continues to inform NATO about its military activities, including exercises, despite NATO’s unilateral decision to cut contacts with Russia, General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said on Thursday.

 

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“The Russian Defense Ministry has always tried to make the activities of Russian Armed Forces transparent. Despite NATO’s unilateral decision to cut contacts with the Russian Defense Ministry, we continue to inform all countries, including NATO members, of all major events related to the operational and combat training of the Russian Armed Forces,” Gerasimov stated at a briefing with foreign military attaches.

 

He said that Russian and foreign media outlets cover all major military exercises.

 

Moreover, the Russian Defense Ministry invited its partners to participate in the final stage of the Kavkaz-2016 strategic exercises. “Military attaches in many countries monitored the maneuvers of our troops and forces,” the general said.

 

“NATO representatives ignored those exercises. That is why it is inaccurate, to say the least, to accuse us of being secretive,” Gerasimov stressed.

 

The general also said that the actions by the Syrian “moderate opposition” caused daily civilian casualties throughout the country.

 

“Operations carried out by the ‘moderate opposition’ cause death among civilians and destroy the infrastructure every day. Schools and hospitals are in its crosshairs. The terrorists are using local civilians as human shields,” Gerasimov stated at a briefing of foreign military attaches accredited in Russia on Thursday.

 

He said that the militants had shot at a Russian field hospital in violation of all norms of international humanitarian law on December 5. Two nurses and a doctor were seriously wounded.

 

“We assume that joint efforts is the only way to achieve some tangible results in restoring security and counteracting international terrorism and other modern challenges and threats,” Gerasimov emphasized.